I. Policy Statement:

Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) strives to maximize access to all library materials. BPL and its patrons share a responsibility for the collection and as such, the library expects its patrons to return borrowed materials on time and to treat them with care. To help ensure that materials are available for all, BPL charges replacement fees for non-returned, damaged and lost materials.

II. Guidelines:


  1. BPL does not collect or assess daily late fines for overdue material. BPL may exempt some material types from this policy at its discretion.
  2. BPL will issue fees to patrons who have not returned library material by a determined grace period after the due date. Materials will be marked as lost. Replacement fees will be waived once library material is returned in good condition.
  3. BPL charges fees to patrons who damage or lose library material. BPL may exempt some patron types from the assessment of fees at its discretion.
  4. BPL will notify patrons when they accrue a fee. Patrons may choose the method of notification.
  5. Patrons are required to provide BPL with accurate contact information when completing a library card application and to promptly update that information when necessary.
  6. BPL may use a third-party collection agency for patrons who do not settle their fees.
  7. BPL will refund any replacement fees paid when a lost item is returned within 90 days of payment, in good condition, and with proof of payment.
  8. BPL will display a clear summary of this policy at all BPL locations and on its website. The policy is subject to change at the discretion of BPL.

Restriction on Library Privileges:

BPL will restrict the library privileges of patrons who owe fees greater than the “fee threshold.” The threshold is subject to change at the discretion of BPL.

Waiving Fees:

At its discretion, BPL may waive some fees for patrons who have experienced extreme hardship such as long-term hospitalization, imprisonment, eviction, fire or theft. It is the patron’s responsibility to complete a BPL Customer Service Form (available at all BPL locations and on its website) and to provide valid supporting documentation verifying the hardship.

BPL may grant amnesty to patrons holding fees exceeding a “time threshold.” This threshold is subject to change at the discretion of BPL.


Policy approved by Board of Trustees: September 29, 2021